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Procedure : 2008/2647(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0580/2008

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Debates :

PV 20/11/2008 - 5
CRE 20/11/2008 - 5

Votes :

PV 20/11/2008 - 6.16
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Texts adopted
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Thursday, 20 November 2008 - Strasbourg
Environmental inspection in Member States

European Parliament resolution of 20 November 2008 on the review of Recommendation 2001/331/EC providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Recommendation 2001/331/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 April 2001 providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States(1) ,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 14 November 2007 on the review of Recommendation 2001/331/EC providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States (COM(2007)0707),

–   having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas in 2001 Parliament and the Council adopted Recommendation 2001/331/EC, containing non-binding criteria for planning, carrying out, following up and reporting on environmental inspections, recognising that there was a wide disparity between inspection systems in the Member States,

B.   whereas the recommendation's aim was to strengthen compliance with Community environmental law and to contribute to its more consistent implementation and enforcement in all Member States,

C.   whereas the above-mentioned Communication sets out the Commission's views on further development of the recommendation, based, inter alia, on the reports that the Member States have submitted on their implementation of the recommendation,

D.   whereas that Communication noted that the information submitted by the Member States on how they were implementing the recommendation was 'incomplete or difficult to compare',

E.   whereas the information submitted by the Member States demonstrated that 'only a few have achieved full implementation', and that 'there are still large disparities in the way environmental inspections are being carried out within the Community',

F.   whereas according to the Commission the situation of incomplete implementation is partially due to differing interpretations by Member States of the definitions and criteria of the recommendation and of the reporting requirements,

G.   whereas the Commission recognises that the scope of the recommendation is inadequate and does not include many important activities, such as Natura 2000, the control of illegal waste shipments, the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances (REACH), the restriction of certain hazardous substances in products (e.g. the Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment - the RoHS Directive), trade in endangered species as well as activities related to genetically modified organisms and producer responsibility systems,

1.  Voices its concern at the Commission's conclusion that the full implementation of environmental legislation in the Community cannot be ensured, since this leads not only to continuing damage to the environment but also to distortions of competition;

2.  Emphasises that good and even enforcement of Community environmental law is essential, and that anything less falls short of public expectations and undermines the reputation of the Community as an effective guardian of the environment;

3.  Opposes the Commission's intention of dealing with the problem only through a non-binding recommendation and through the insertion of specific legally binding requirements in sectoral legislation;

4.  Urges the Commission instead to come forward, before the end of 2009, with a proposal for a directive on environmental inspections, clarifying the definitions and criteria set out in Recommendation 2001/331/EC and extending its scope;

5.  Considers it essential to strengthen the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) and urges the Commission to report, before the end of 2009, on possible ways of doing so, including the establishment of a Community environmental inspection force;

6.  Proposes that greater emphasis be placed on supporting environmental education and information provision, the specific content of which would be determined at local, regional or national level on the basis of the needs and problems identified in a given area;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 118, 27.4.2001, p. 41.

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